It’s easy to measure success in weight loss—it’s measured in pounds lost.
Measuring Maintenance is a different story.
It’s only in retrospect, really. It’s measured in time—6, 12, 24 months at the same desired weight.
But on a daily basis, Maintenance is measured by the absence of gaining (or losing).
Measuring the absence of something doesn’t always feel satisfying.
It’s like measuring how many days your spouse hasn’t cheated on you (given a faithful relationship). It’s important but a given. Expected.
Although, imagine how differently you’d think about your spouse if you were grateful every day for their fidelity and presence. You’d have an amazing bond and rich relationship.
Same can be for your maintenance weight (and relationship to yourself).
When you generate excitement or gratitude for your maintenance accomplishment—staying the same weight over time—then tracking your “progress” becomes fun again.
Successfully losing weight is a rush. Watching the numbers decrease on the scale is motivating in and of itself.
So it can be jarring when you hit maintenance.
The numbers on the scale no longer tick down.
Not losing can feel like a failure after months of losing—even when it’s not! You’ve actually achieved your long desired goal.
Many of us have spent years and decades identifying as someone who wants to lose weight. Looking for and trying diet after diet. Thinking about food and feeling guilty about it.
Once you arrive at the goal—all that goes away. You’ve figured it out. No need for diets and guilt. Now what?
It’s time for a shift in mindset.
First step is to keep a lookout for this phenomenon.
Sure there’s celebration when you see that magic number for the first time. But if you notice the feeling fade, realize it’s all part of the process, an expected part.
Now it’s time for the real work of permanent weight loss to begin—the Maintenance phase.
What will keep you at your goal weight? What will keep you maintaining year after year?
This is an important question.
If you don’t answer it, you won’t maintain.
Instead you’ll start gaining because you’ll want to go back to the familiar feelings of wanting/needing to lose weight. Of watching the numbers on the scale go down again.
Kinda nuts, right?
Gaining just so you can feel familiar feelings.
But dealing with the unknown, with different and difficult emotions can be so uncomfortable for some that they’ll sabotage their success just to go back to the familiar.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Lose the weight then be prepared to find your new methods and motivation for maintaining your desired weight.
Once you do, you'll amaze yourself for decades to come.
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